European Union lawmakers want the 27-nation bloc to take the lead in shaping the metaverse to reduce technological dependencies on other countries and support EU companies. The call was part of a report by the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection on the opportunities, risks and policy implications of virtual worlds.
The metaverse is a collection of virtual worlds that form an imagined future Internet that is a shared, interactive and potentially immersive digital environment. The committee approved the report on Tuesday with 31 votes in favor and two against.
The committee's work follows the European Commission's plans for the metaverse published in July. The EU's executive body did not propose any laws to regulate the virtual worlds, but said oversight of the metaverse would require new standards and global governance. The committee's strategy for Web4 and the metaverse defines virtual worlds as “persistent, immersive environments based on 3D and extended reality (XR) technologies.”
developed by “a few companies outside the EU, which have the necessary resources and financial capabilities” and calls for the EU to take a leading role instead. “Europe cannot afford to be left behind in the next digital revolution, nor can we repeat past mistakes,”
said Pablo Arias Echeverría, the rapporteur guiding the initiative through parliament.
“As we move towards Web 4.0 with the development of virtual worlds, we must build a foundation, rooted in strong EU digital rules, guiding principles and values. Europe must lead this transition and put citizens at the center of our digital future!”
The lawmakers call for “promoting a level playing field to strengthen European companies” and creating an appropriate policy framework that involves other countries.